Know your enemy: About the UC executives


Who are we fighting?
Our opponents are UC Executives. We are not facing just the Regents, but rather a confusing and dysfunctional mélange of UC Executives, Regents, assistant-Vice-whatevers, who constantly point the finger elsewhere and cannot communicate with other departments. But they will give themselves raises.


The lowdown on the incoming UC President
The incoming UC President Yudof will have a compensation package valued at $828,000 in the 2008-2009 fiscal year. See the March 27, 2008 SF Chronicle article here. Some highlights:

"At UC, his base salary of $591,084 will be a significant boost over the base pay of departing President Robert Dynes, who receives $405,000 a year.

As you can see from my compensation package, I'm not starving to death," he said, smiling broadly.
In addition to his salary, Yudof's compensation package will include an $8,916 yearly car allowance, supplemental pension payments totaling $228,000 in fiscal 2008-09, and varying amounts each year after that. His total compensation package for fiscal 2008-09 is valued at $828,000, excluding moving expenses as well as standard health, retirement and management benefits."

Yudof will also have a 6,800-square-foot rental house provided for him in the Oakland hills at the cost of $136,320 in the first year while $8 - $9 Million will be spent on renovating the UC mansion. President Dynes has been living in the 13,239 square-foot Kensington manor for the past five years. No problems besides UC Executive pay scandals. UCOP press releases are spinning this as necessary renovations and they provide stupid pictures of cracks in the wall, chipped paint, etc. here. Read the May 8, 2008 San Francisco Chronicle article here. The SF Chronicle describes the mansion:

"The three-story, 10-bathroom house has sweeping views of the bay and is surrounded by 10 acres of land. Its impressive Mediterranean gardens, which are open to the public, are maintained by UC Berkeley's school of landscape architecture.

The mansion is typically staffed by one house manager. The president's private quarters totals 4,328 square feet and includes three bedrooms."

A dysfunctional system

A February 12, 2008 San Francisco Chronicle article summarizes a report provided by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the organization that accredits the university, which explains how dysfunctional the UC Executive system is:

"A decentralization of the university's administration, with many important decisions being made by top executives case by case without review or approval from the governing Board of Regents, allowed violations of UC compensation policies, the report says.

In addition, the report says, there is confusion about the roles and responsibilities of the university president, the regents and the 10 campus chancellors with no clear lines of authority and boundaries.

There was no consistent annual evaluation of executives and no self-assessment or training for the regents, the report said. In addition, there is no clarity on how regents should make official statements or decisions on behalf of the board."

At the recent May 6, 2008 Brown Bag lunch event with UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal, administrators belittled AFSCME workers for asking the Chancellor to communicate with UCOP and the Board of Regents to end poverty wages. The above report finds that none of the UC Executives really knows how to talk to one another nor do they know who is supposed to make decisions. Yet excessive "market rate" UC Executive pay is protected while service workers have to work two and three jobs to make ends meet.

The state appointed neutral factfinder, Carol Vendrillo, urges:

"it is time for U.C. to take a broader view of its priorities by honoring the important contribution that service workers make to the U.C. community and compensating them with wages that are in line with the competitive market rate."

This is about priorities, not resources.

Translation Note: The Inglés version of this content is being displayed because the Español translation is unavailable.

UC Berkeley Provost Bersleur and Chancellor Birgeneau loose loyalty effect

Milan Moravec

Business and the public sector are into a phase of creative disassembly where reinvention and adjustments are constant. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are being shed by United Technologies, GE, Chevron, Sam’s Club, Wells Fargo Bank, HP, Starbucks etc. and the state, counties and cities. Even solid world class institutions like the University of California Berkeley under the leadership of Chancellor Birgeneau & Provost Breslauer are firing staff, faculty and part-time lecturers. Yet many employees, professionals and faculty cling to old assumptions about one of the most critical relationship of all: the implied, unwritten contract between employer and employee.
Until recently, loyalty was the cornerstone of that relationship. Employers promised job security and a steady progress up the hierarchy in return for employees fitting in, performing in prescribed ways and sticking around. Longevity was a sign of employeer-employee relations; turnover was a sign of dysfunction. None of these assumptions apply today. Organizations can no longer guarantee employment and lifetime careers, even if they want to.
Organizations that paralyzed themselves with an attachment to “success brings success’ rather than “success brings failure’ are now forced to break the implied contract with employees – a contract nurtured by management that the future can be controlled.
Jettisoned employees are finding that the hard won knowledge, skills and capabilities earned while being loyal are no longer valuable in the employment market place.
What kind of a contract can employers and employees make with each other? The central idea is both simple and powerful: the job or position is a shared situation. Employers and employees face market and financial conditions together, and the longevity of the partnership depends on how well the for-profit or not-for-profit continues to meet the needs of customers and constituencies. Neither employer nor employee has a future obligation to the other. Organizations train people. Employees develop the kind of security they really need – skills, knowledge and capabilities that enhance future employability.
The partnership can be dissolved without either party considering the other a traitor. Employee loyalty to UC Berkeley senior management is dead


Milan Moravec

UC President Yudof’s UCB Chancellor Birgeneau Loss of Credibility, Trust
The UCB budget gap has grown to $150 million, and still the Chancellor is spending money that isn't there on expensive ($3,000,000) outside consultants. His reasons range from the need for impartiality to requiring the "innovative thinking, expertise, and new knowledge" the consultants would bring.

Does this mean that the faculty and management of a world-class research and teaching institution lack the knowledge, impartiality, innovation, and professionalism to come up with solutions? Have they been fudging their research for years? The consultants will glean their recommendations from interviewing faculty and the UCB management that hired them; yet solutions could be found internally if the Chancellor were doing the job HE was hired to do. Consultant fees would be far better spent on meeting the needs of students.

There can be only one conclusion as to why creative solutions have not been forthcoming from the professionals within UCB: Chancellor Birgeneau has lost credibility and the trust of the faculty as well as of the Academic Senate leadership that represents them. Even if the faculty agrees with the consultants' recommendations - disagreeing might put their jobs in jeopardy - the underlying problem of lost credibility and trust will remain.



To be fair, the WASC report that this article quotes also says "We neither heard nor found in the audit reports any suggestion of impropriety or irregularity on any of the campuses" and that "we see no reason to believe that the deviations from the Regents’ 1992 policy were intentional or that anyone in the Office of the President deliberately departed from the Regents’ requirements and
expectations." But it is a lot more fun to say "compensation scandal" then it is to say "technical reporting error."